Successes and future plans of the regional project “Free Legal Support for Small Business”

Successes and future plans of the regional project “Free Legal Support for Small Business”

In November 2019, four law clinics joined forces to launch the project “Free Legal Support for Small Business”.

The essence of the regional project is to provide consultants of legal clinics participating in the initiative of free legal assistance to representatives of small business, in particular: assistance in business registration; advising on the most optimal form of taxation; drafting of personnel documents, contracts, etc.; carrying out legal “audit” of documents for compliance with the future requirements of the legislation; drawing up of check-lists for checks; providing advice, clarification of legislation; preparation of procedural documents and court representation, etc.

The project is being implemented by:

  • Legal Clinic “Pro Bono” of National University of Ostroh Academy,
  • Legal Clinic “Liberta” Ternopil National Economic University,
  • Lega Clinic Leonid Yuzkov Khmelnytskyi University of Management and Law,
  • Legal Clinic Ukrainian Catholic University, which in its specialization will provide legal assistance to veterans wishing to start their own business.

During the two months of the project implementation a number of activities have already been carried out:

1. Training courses were held at the Legal Clinic “Pro Bono” of National University of Ostroh Academy, which covered various aspects of small business consulting.

2. Legal Clinic “Liberta” Ternopil National Economic University

Students of Legal Clinic “Liberta” have increased their competencies in small business legal support in Ukraine.

3. Lega Clinic Leonid Yuzkov Khmelnytskyi University of Management and Law

A somewhat different format of training for students was chosen in Khmelnytsky.

4. Legal Clinic Ukrainian Catholic University

At Legal Clinic of UCU Law School started a series of small business consulting client trainings with Natalia Vasylechko, a lawyer, partner and head of IT practice Attorneys at law “BK partners”.

The training is only the beginning of the implementation of the regional project “Development of regional leadership and establishing a model of coordination of the Association of Legal Clinics of Ukraine”, which is supported by the International Renaissance Foundation. Next – look for our success stories, helpful advice and practical tips on how to develop this line of law clinics.

Author – Khrystyna Kovtsun, manager of the Legal Clinic of the UKU Law School

Networking experience of legal clinics in Kyiv region: influences and perspectives

Networking experience of legal clinics in Kyiv region: influences and perspectives

Since October 2019, 6 legal clinics in the Capital Region have joined their forces to introduce innovative and effective law-education topics to different target audiences on equally relevant legal topics. Two regional initiatives that are part of the project “Developing Regional Leadership and Establishing a Coordination Model of the Association of Legal Clinics of Ukraine”, implemented by the Association of Legal Clinics of Ukraine with the support of the International Renaissance Foundation.

In this article, we analyze the key achievements of the regional project “Strengthening Regional and Cross-Sectoral Cooperation of Legal Clinics of Kyiv Region”, which includes the autonomous initiative “Innovative Teaching Methods in Law Education Activities of Legal CLinics for Secondary School Students” with a reinforced component of tax education.

The project is implemented by the Legal Clinic “Law and Practice” of Bila Tserkva National Agrarian University.

The project co-executors are:

  1. The Educational and Practical Laboratory “Legal Clinic” of the ESI National University of the State Fiscal Service of Ukraine – implements the component of the initiative entitled “Innovative Teaching Methods in Law Education Activities of Legal CLinics for Secondary School Students”
  2. Legal Clinic of the Academy of Advocacy of Ukraine
  3. Legal Clinic “Astreya” of Borys Grinchenko Kyiv University
  4. Educational laboratory “Legal clinic” of National University of Kyiv-Mohyla Academy
  5. Legal Clinic “Protection and Justice” of the National University of Life and Environmental Sciences of Ukraine

What has been achieved in two and a half months?

Following the completion of the preparatory phase, which took place in October, on November 4, 2019, a Workshop for Legal Clinics was held at the PRAVOCATOR Law Club in Kyiv, presenting the purpose and objectives of the project at the national level.

Clinics’ students from seven legal clinics of the central region of Ukraine, accademics of faculty of law and linguistics, well-known lawyers together with partners and experts of the clinical and human rights protection movement worked on the ideas for further development of “Maps of interaction of legal clinics with stakeholders”. Finally, this month the legal clinic “Law and Practice” of Bila Tserkva National Agrarian University developed and presented such a map.

An important area of ​​the project is the networking of legal clinics in the Kiev region. The first peer-to-peer networking event was a visit to exchange experience at the Legal Clinic of the Academy of Advocacy of Ukraine.


The next was a study visit of the exchange of experience to the Educational and Practical Laboratory “Legal Clinic” of the ESI National University of the State Fiscal Service of Ukraine in Irpin.

In addition, as part of the legal education component, legal clinics entered into cooperative agreements with Irpin’ schools and monitored students’ primary tax knowledge through polls. The monitoring will allow the development of training material that will meet the real needs and equal tax awareness of the target audience.

What’s next?

  • Completion of the “Clinician Advisor” to help build constructive communication, how to behave in non-standard situations, and what to look for when working with special clients.
  • Development by 5 teams (representatives of legal clinics of Kyiv region, project participants) methodical developments for conducting training for 9th grade students on the topic of “Taxes is easy” and submit it to the competition.
  • For students of eight schools of Kyiv region conducting trainings on methodical instructions, which was determined as the best.
  • Conducting three brain-rings among the students of three schools in Kyiv, two schools in Bila Tserkva and three Irpin schools participating in the training.

The project participants are convinced that this initiative provided an opportunity to unite the legal clinical community and outline the opportunities of legal clinics, which will greatly improve its organizational development.


Material was prepared by Mariia Tsypiashchuk based on information by Olga Nastina, Anna Bondareva

Photo: Legal Clinics “Law and Practice” of BNAU, NUSFSU

Development of regional leadership as a key to sustainable development of the legal clinic network

Development of regional leadership as a key to sustainable development of the legal clinic network

The idea of ​​developing regional cooperation and enhancing the capacity of legal clinics is not new. In one form or another it has been discussed for the last five years. However, further talk did not go. Heads of he most active ALCU legal clinics regularly attended annual forums but, returning to their daily routine, forgot about regional leadership until the next meeting.

After the successful implementation of the Project “Institutional Capacity Building of the Association / Network of Legal Clinics of Ukraine” (in partnership with the Ukrainian Legal Aid Foundation with the support of the International Renaissance Foundation), we realized two things: the first – we are capable of more, the second – the development of the network is impossible without strengthening the capacity of the legal clinics themselves. As a result, the development of regional leadership in the network of legal clinics has become one of the main priorities of the Association’s development.

The first step in the search for future leaders of the legal clinical movement was the First Ukrainian-Polish School for Academics of Legal Clinics, held in June 2019 in Warsaw. The participants of the School discussed in detail and openly the vision of regional cooperation development and possible problems and presented their own project initiatives. For the first time in many years, besides the desire to develop a legal clinical movement in the regions, we have received specific proposals and projects from people interested and motivated to implement them. What else is needed? Financing!

The implementation of the project allowed to hold a competition and provided funding for three projects, which, in our opinion, will allow cooperation between legal clinics and enhance their ability to independently search and implement projects.

The project “Strengthening of Regional and Cross-Sectoral Cooperation of Legal Clinics of Kyiv Region” is implemented by the Legal Clinic “Law and Practice” of Bila Tserkva National Agrarian University in cooperation with the LC of University of the State Fiscal Service of Ukraine and the LC of Academy of Advocacy of Ukraine.

The project has two strategic goals. The first is to analyze the stakeholders and their interests, to explore the Ukrainian market of legal aid providers.

The second goal of the project was to develop the skills of legal clinic students in the organization of law classes and increase the financial literacy of school youth.

The project “Legal clinics – agents for promoting mediation as a way of resolving disputes” is implemented by the Legal Clinic of Yuriy Fedkovych Chernivtsi National University in cooperation with the LC of King Danylo University, LC of Vasyl Stefanyk Precarpathian National University and LC “Femida” of the Precarpathian Faculty of the National Academy of Internal Affairs.

Can legal clinics settle disputes through mediation? Yes, they can – the authors of the project are convinced. The main thing is to teach the students-consultants to convey the benefits of mediation and to convince the client of its effectiveness. LC students themselves need to know the basics of mediation and promote mediation to the general public. Accordingly, the purpose of the project is to create and develop, on the basis of legal clinics, a regional network of mediation promotion agents.

The project “Free Legal Aid for Small Business” is being implemented by the Legal Clinic “Pro Bono” of National University of Ostroh Academy, in collaboration with the Ukrainian Catholic University, LC of leonid Yuzkov Khmelnytskyi University of Management and Law, and LC “Liberta” Ternopil National Economic University.

This project is an attempt to go beyond and allow students to work with a whole new category of cases. The essence of the project is to provide consultants of participating in the initiative of free legal assistance legal clinics to the representatives of small business and the opportunity to acquire complex knowledge and experience in the field, which they would come across only at work.


Yulia Lomzets, Executive Director of the Association of Legal Clinics of Ukraine

2020 Client Consultation Competition: New Challenges and Victories

2020 Client Consultation Competition: New Challenges and Victories

Within two days, the legal clinics of Ukraine competed in the National Client Consultation Competition: four teams of semi-finalists will continue their fight already abroad.

On December 6 -7, the Association of Legal Clinics of Ukraine held quarterfinal rounds of the 2020 National Client Consultation Competition of Legal Clinics. The theme of this year’s competition is “Damage to Property (Civil Law). This includes nuisance, negligence and trespass but excludes Landlord and Tenant Law”.

“The branding events we carry out are very important for the Association. One of the most interesting and the most awaited is the Client Consultation Competition. The Competition is gathering new teams, new formats and it is important to mention that in recent years it has been exclusively in English. It confirms our ability and it proves that we have interesting and organized students of legal clinics”, – said Andriy Halay, the head of the Association of Legal Clinics of Ukraine.

The Client Consultation Competition is a unique competition among Ukrainian legal clinics that models the process of interviewing a client in a law office with the participation of two student advisors (legal clinic participants) who act as lawyers (solicitor, attorney, barrister) and a client whose role performs the guest actor. Interview and consultation were evaluated by judges (experienced lawyers and human rights defenders).

The client’s role was played by invited students who are fluent in English and also US citizens currently in Ukraine under the Peace Corps program.


In addition to the practical tasks, participants of the Competition had an interesting excursion to the National University “Ostroh Academy”, on the basis of which competitions were held.

Legal clinics students were also able to improve their skills by attending workshops:

  • “Building of Effective Communication and Media Work” (Olena Sabo, Head of News Content and Regional Infoactivity Development of LC)
  • “Transitional Justice Issues” (Oleg Martynenko, Expert of Analytical Direction of the Ukrainian Helsinki Human Rights Union, Director of NGO Research Center of Law Enforcement Activity)
  • “Difficulties faced by young lawyers at the beginning of their careers” (Maryna Kysloschaeva, lawyer of SBH Law Offices in Ukraine)

Nine teams of legal clinics from different parts of Ukraine took part in the Competition. The finalists were:

These 4 teams were able to continue their participation in the semifinal and final rounds, which will take place in Poland in late January – early February 2020. The winner of the competition will represent Ukraine at the Brown Mosten International Client Consultation Competition which will be held in the United States of America April 15-18, 2020.

“The Competition gives the opportunity to try yourself in practice. And then, when students come into contact with clients in practice, it will be easier for them to work, more clearly how to build communication, how to try to help, what to look for, and in general this is an experience that many need.” – commented the lawyer of BA “Sisuyev, Bondar and SBH partners” Marina Kysloschayeva.

Competitions have been taking place in Ukraine for the sixth consecutive year, and more than ten times in total. For several decades, this competition has shown its practical value in the world, as it helps participants – future professional lawyers – to improve their skills in practicing law; develop analytical and communication skills in working with the client. Moreover, competitions at the national level support the exchange of experience of qualitative training of lawyers at the international level, where Ukraine has been represented about ten times already.

“I understand that a new generation of attorneys like us should grow, ie human rights defenders, judges, pre-trial investigators. Professionals who can resolve cases with a foreign element and represent the state must grow. And the most important, have a legal education and communication ability. If this is not, there will be no European level of development in the country, and the levels of justice is the level of the state.” – said lawyer Dmytro Komolov.

By the way, Dmytro had the opportunity to try himself at the Competition both as a judge and as a client.



The semifinalists received valuable prizes and awards from the Kyiv Bar Council, the Attorneys Family of Lysenko, the chairman of the All-Ukrainian Trade Union of Advocates of Ukraine, and lawyer Nadiya Korinna.


We would not hold the Client Consultation Competition at such a level if the assistance of volunteers were not coordinated, as well as assistance in the involvement of judges and sponsors by Tatiana Sholkova, a member of the Board of the Association and the head of the legal clinic of the State Fiscal Service of Ukraine.


Also, the Association of Law Clinics of Ukraine expresses its sincere gratitude to the sponsors, as well as the partners of the Competition Law Firm “Sisuyev, Bondar and SBH Partners”, information partners – the Yurincom-Inter publication and the newspaper “Legal Bulletin of Ukraine”, Human Rights House in Chernihiv.

Author of the material: Olena Sabo

ALCU monitoring as inspiration for new achievements of Kharkiv National University of Internal Affairs Legal Clinic

ALCU monitoring as inspiration for new achievements of Kharkiv National University of Internal Affairs Legal Clinic

It has been proven that the legal clinic is the most effective form of legal education for obtaining law skills. The maximum efficiency of a legal clinic will be provided on the condition of its institutional capacity. Quality marks and providing recommendations for improving the work of legal clinics are effectively provided by the monitoring conducted by the Association of Legal Clinics of Ukraine.

October 22-25, 2019, KhNUIA Law Clinic hosted a monitoring group of the Association of Legal Clinics of Ukraine, which consisted of: Andrii Halai – Head of the Association of Legal Clinics of Ukraine, Kateryna Datsko – Dean of the Law Faculty, Head of the Law Clinic of KNEU, Olga Osinskaya – State Expert on Legal Education of the Directorate for Human Rights, Access to Justice and Legal Awareness of the Ministry of Justice of Ukraine, Nina Reshetar – Representative of the OSCE Project Coordinator in Ukraine.

More about the work of the monitoring group:

The Law Clinic of Kharkiv National University of Internal Affairs was established in 2012, although its history begins in 2006. Today she works at Faculty № 6 (for student preparation).

Three days allowed to evaluate the organizational, educational, human rights and educational direction of the work of the Legal Clinic of KhNUIA. We note that the legal clinic has a sufficient level of material support and prospects for development. The priority areas that need the most attention right now are: specifying and sharing responsibilities between legal clinic staff (academics, students) and establishing a regular own online representation of the law clinic.

The peculiarity of this monitoring was the information-rich press conference at the Kharkiv Press Club, which was attended by local mass media, representatives of public organizations and the city community. The press event showed the community’s interest in the activities of the Law Clinic of the National University of Internal Affairs, which shows the possibilities for establishing effective cooperation and integration into the local communities.

Monitoring results:

We are convinced that the monitoring and recommendations will contribute to positive institutional changes in the Legal Clinic of KhNUIA while presenting the results of the evaluation of the legal clinic:

The monitoring was financially supported by the OSCE Project Coordinator in Ukraine.

“Legal Clinics are the Whole Galaxy” – Key Issues about ALCU National Forum 2019

“Legal Clinics are the Whole Galaxy” – Key Issues about ALCU National Forum 2019

We still ask ourselves – how? How in two days we managed to do what seemed to be impossible – to quickly and constructively discuss main organizational issues of our activity, update the charter documents and approve new regulations, present a new Association identity, listen to presentations on financial education and alternative dispute resolution from our partners of USAID Financial Sector Transformation Project, to hold panel discussions with foreign colleagues from legal clinical movement and meet with representatives of the human rights sector in Ukraine, get presentation from director of the very first legal publication, run interesting breaks with Docudays UA film clubs, Educational Ombudsman, get to know about the projects – winners of the Regional Initiatives Contest among legal clinics and – finally – provide participants with the opportunity to visit parallel workshops on tangible aspect of legal clinical operations. And all of this held in the picturesque Bila Tserkva hosted by the Bila Tserkva National Agrarian University Legal clinic “Law and Practice”.

“Legal Clinics are the Universe. The Whole Galaxy – Organizations, Events, People, Ideas” – Olha Halchenko, Coordinator of the International Renaissance Foundation’s Human Rights and Justice Program shares her own impressions of the Forum-Conference of the Association of Legal Clinics of Ukraine 2019

This article provides overview of the key findings and happenings during the ALCU Forum 2019.

Chapter 1. Structure and Idea

An organization Forum is a statutory event necessary to address organizational issues within the scope of the general meeting, update information and establish a current register of legal clinics, make joint community decisions, etc. But this time, the organizers decided to go further and employ the opportunity to bring together representatives of the vast majority of active legal clinics in Ukraine, for something even more productive and useful – sharing experiences, training, motivation for independent activity. Consistently implementing the idea of ​​enhancing regional leadership in legal clinics, developing new directions – we have built a four-block Forum program: actually – the Forum itself and discussion of organizational issues, “Financial Consumer Protection”, presenting initiatives for legal clinics in partnership and the development of legal clinics in the form of creative workshops and interviews.

Information about the upcoming Forum drew so much attention that even coffee breaks were filled with constructive and interesting events. During “coffee-with-partners” sessions representatives of legal clinics obtained practical information for their further interaction and enhancement of law-enforcement work – in particular, through media education on Human Rights via Docudays UA film clubs.

Chapter 2. Opening

Traditionally, the Forum was started by the Chairman of the Association Andrii Halai. Also participants were greated by the BNAU Vice-Rector for Education and International Affairs Tatiana Dyman, the Dean of the BNAU Law and Linguistics Faculty Valentyna Borshchovetska, Consumer Protection Advisor Tetiana Burak. Later, Head of the All-Ukrainian Professional Bar Association Nadiia Korinna and the Director of the Coordination Center for Free Legal Aid Oleksii Boniuk also addressed welcoming speeches.

During the panel discussion “From Understanding to Development: Renewing the Goals of the Board, Regional Leadership”, Andrii Halai spoke about the main trends and priorities for the development of the modern legal clinical movement in Ukraine. Following that, the members of the Association Board held a Q&A session, answering questions from participants.

Chapter 3. Forum

The substantive part of the Forum started with a discussion of the updated version of the ALCU Charter, Standards of Activities of Legal Clinics of Ukraine and the newly created Regulation on ALCU Advisory Bodies: Board + and the Honourable Council. The Association Executive Director Yuliia Lomzhets told about the key changes in the previously adopted documents and the content of the new regulation, which was developed at the request of the previous Forum of 2018 participants. With special pleasure we listened to the presentations of active legal clinics “Adiutorium” of Chernihiv National Technical University and Academy of Labour, social relations and tourism, whose leaders – Valentyna Lytvynenko and Olena Kravchenko became new members of the Association, and their legal clinics are included in our register.

First block was completed with the presentation of the Association developed identity. ALCU Communications Development Manager Mariia Tsypiashchuk revealed the idea of the updated logo, the structure of the brand book and, in fact, demonstrated the elements of the new infostyle.

Chapter 4. New strand “Protecting the Rights of Financial Services Consumers”

The second block of the program was opened by Tetiana Hryshchenko, Head of the USAID Financial Sector Transformation Project Legal Division. Combining the presentation with the online poll, she described how one should protect from financial fraud. Afterwards, participants and guests of the Forum participated in a panel discussion “Practical Aspects of Consulting on Financial Services”, moderated by the Association’s Educational Component Development Manager, Yuliia Matveeva.

First coffee with partners took place during the break, where Oleksandra Nabiieva, communication coordinator of the project “Human Rights Campaign with Docudays UA International Documentary Film Festival Tools”, explained how Docudays UA Film Clubs work and the opportunities they open for legal clinics. In particular, it was emphasized that human rights documentaries could be used as a meaningful and aesthetic tool for legal education, both for the participants in the legal clinics themselves and for target audiences for which they work.

The second block concluded with a substantive discussion on various issues of protection of the financial services consumers’ rights and the prospects of creating an institute of alternative dispute resolution in Ukraine, presented by Tetiana Burak.

As a result of the first day, Andrii Halai presented a new model of legal clinics monitoring 2:0, which provides support for the implementation of expert recommendations. We will illustrate it in more detail in future publications.

Chapter 5. Initiatives for Legal Clinics in Partnership – International and National

Even before the start of the program of the Forum second day, Viktor Kovalskyi – President of the first Ukrainian legal publishing house “Yurincom-Inter” and chief editor of the national legal newspaper “Yurydychnyi Visnyk Ukrainy” (Legal Herald of Ukraine) – informational partners of this Forum – stood before the participants. Mr. Kovalskyi presented the integrated electronic system of legal acts and legal analytics “Activlex” and the newly printed legal advisor, whose co-author is also the representative of the Association of Legal Clinics of Ukraine.

Partnership block began with a panel discussion on the current challenges for legal clinic networks. It was moderated by the Chairman of the Association, Andrii Halai, and invited speakers from the legal clinical communities of Great Britain, Germany and Italy, and Poland – Jonny Hall, Ulrich Stege, Filip Czernicki, Pawel Klimek, as well as a representative of the Association Board, Mykola Udod took part in the discussion. Video of the panel discussion can be viewed here.

After a joint discussion, parallel panels began.

Solicitor, legal consultant, ex-editor of the International Journal of Clinical Legal Education (IJCLE) Johnny Hall spoke about the pedagogical design of the LC curriculum in the UK, Mariia Tsypiashchuk and Pawel Klimek, a lawyer, representative of the Polish Network of Legal Clinics, together presented a new format of Consultation competition in international partnership. This year in Ukraine it is planned to hold the qualifying quarter-final rounds among the desiring teams from legal clinics, and the semi-final and final rounds – in Krakow, simultaneously with the national round for the Polish teams – and then to play several friendly rounds between the Ukrainian and Polish teams.

Further Filip Czernicki, President of the Polish Legal Clinics Foundation, and President of the Global Alliance for Justice Education (GAJE) and Ulrich Stege (Executive Secretary of the European Network of Legal Clinical Education (ENCLE) spoke about the sustainability and standardization of legal clinics. At the same time, Serhii Burov, Director of Educational Human Rights House in Chernihiv presented opportunities for cooperation between legal clinics and the Human Rights Houses.

After the break, Olena Nemchenko, the Ukrainian Legal Aid Foundation Administrator of Legal Aid for NGOs and Networking, presented opportunities for cooperation with legal aid providers for the legal clinics within the Pro Bono Space platform, and Nataliia Bimbraite, Chairman of the Legal Development Network NGO Board elaborated on prospects for the functioning of the Legal Space information portal, which is now being transformed into an updated information and analytical joint communication platform for legal aid providers.

At the end of the partnership initiatives presentations, parallel workshops were held: “We erase borders: foreign internship programs for students at the Legal Clinic” by Kateryna Datsko, Head of the V. Hetman KNEU KEI Law Clinic; “The experience of regional cooperation of the Tserkva Legal Clinic in Kyiv region” by Olha Nastina, the head of the legal clinic, which welcomed this Forum.

Kseniia Semyorkina, Coordinator of the Implementation of the National Human Rights Strategy Public Monitoring, Expert of the Ukrainian Helsinki Human Rights Union and Andrii Halai spoke about “UHHRU Human Rights Monitoring and Opportunities for Legal Clinics”.

A spontaneous, but very useful addition to these workshops and the second day of the Forum as a whole, was communication with the Education Ombudsman Serhii Horbachov, who voiced the objectives of the newly created structure and also listened to the aspirations of the legal clinics representatives in the context of possible cooperation.

And, in fact, the Forum made it possible to present publicly regional development projects that have won the competition. The session was moderated by Yuliia Lomzets and Olha Nastina, Tetiana Sholkova, Anna Myroniuk, Khrystyna Kovtsun, Yuliia Khmaruk described the project goals and planned activities. This presentation completed the third block of the program.

Chapter 6. Briefly but Accurately

The fourth block “Development of Legal Clinics (Creative Workshops and Interactive sessions)” began with two parallel workshops “Why Legal Clinics are Dwindling and How to Raise Them Up?” from Andrii Halai and “Legal Education as a Branch of Legal Clinics Activity: pro at contra” by Yuliia Matveeva. Serhii Derkach, Anti-Corruption Investigation and Prosecution Expert of EU Anti-Corruption Initiativeб ALCU Expert  expalined how to get together for joint projects and how to seek funding for them and Anna Myroniuk, Association of Legal Clinics of Ukraine communication manager assistant held the workshop “Meet by the picture … ” (apps and techniques for eye-catching visualization of posts).

The speakers of the final workshops were Andrii Halai with Interactive session “Coaching Life Hacks: the Five Main Rules of a Coach Teacher” and Mariia Tsypiashchuk – “By a Pen or by Touch – How to Use Modern Media Technology Effectively and Easily”.

Chapter 7. Acknowledgments and Plans for the Future

The Association of Legal Clinics of Ukraine team is grateful to the USAID Financial Sector Transformation Project for its support, and to the BNAU “Law & Practice” Legal Clinic team – especially its leader Olha Nastina, whose wonderful coordination made the forum participants feel comfortable and implement the program by 120%.

What’s next? – the updated format showed its effectiveness. We tried to do something similar in 2017, when it took place in Chernivtsi. And then it was also interesting and productive. But this year, the level is brand new, as well as the approaches and the participants. More knowledge and understanding of how this development can be ensured and many new ideas for collaboration emerged in discussions with partners, which we will be implementing very soon, and something over time.

We thank everyone who made the ALCU Forum 2019 to hold and we are actively working on!


Publication by: Mariia Tsypiashchuk, Anna Myroniuk

Photo: Victoria Tkachenko, Law and Practice Legal Clinic of Bila Tserkva National Agrarian University

FLA Providers unite on the information platform “Legal Space”

FLA Providers unite on the  information platform “Legal Space”

On July 9, 2019, representatives of the Association of Legal Clinics of Ukraine took part in the Second working meeting of FLA Stakeholders on Strategic Development of the Information and Analytical Portal ‘Legal Space’. The event is part of the process of reconciling the concept of restarting the already known information platform – the portal “Legal space”.

This resource was mainly aimed at individuals who directly needed legal information or advice. The idea now is to reorient its target audience on the legal aid providers and create a single information and analytical platform for all FLA providers and stakeholders in Ukraine.

It will not only give possibility for each provider to be high-quality and accessible in the information space, but it will also become a source of a stable expert exchange and, what is most importantly, will help to increase access to justice in Ukraine and abroad.

It will be much easier to understand for citizens who need legal aid where and how they will be able to get a legal assistance they need, since the portal contains clear and comprehensive information about the specialization of a legal aid provider, his contacts and so on.

The meeting was started by Natalia Bimbirayte, director of the IRC “Legal space”, who talked about the concept of reforming the portal, the main directions and expected format of its functioning, as well as the results of the first working meeting that took place several weeks earlier.

With the help of the facilitator Ruslan Baktiyev, the participants of the event, within three hours worked in groups and in joint discussions on what content of the portal could be useful and necessary for the target groups of this source, and also considered portal navigation issues and other related issues.

Moreover, except ALCU, representatives of the Ukrainian Helsinki Human Rights Union, the Legal Development Network, the Association of Women’s Lawyers of Ukraine “JurFem”, the NGO “Legal Hundred”, the Center for Human Rights “Change”, the Human Rights Directorate of access to justice and legal awareness and, of course, the Legal Information Resource Center “Legal Space” presented. Also at the meeting was Olga Galchenko, Coordinator of the Human Rights and Justice Program of the International Renaissance Foundation, supported by the project as a whole.

We hope that this necessary and meaningful initiative will be implemented in the near future and the Association of Legal Clinics of Ukraine is extremely pleased to be part of this process.

Photo credit: Natalia Bimbirayte, Maria Tsypiashchuk

Feeling a Part of International Clinical Legal Community. Ukrainian participation in the 7th ENCLE conference

Feeling a Part of International Clinical Legal Community. Ukrainian participation in the 7th ENCLE conference

The 7th ENCLE & IJCLE Conference was strongly devoted to a question of service quality provided by legal clinics and the need of its standardization and assessment. It was mutually recognized that the experience of Ukrainian legal clinical community inspired the process of drafting the standards within the Erasmus+ STARS project as the Association of Legal Clinics of Ukraine (ALCU) adopted its Standards of legal clinics operations back in 2014. And it went even further, for in 2017 the Instrument for assessing conformity with the Standards was drafted, piloted and finally approved.

Since then 13 legal clinics have been assessed and 6 of them showed basic level, while 7 meet the Standards. About this and much more Ukrainian delegation which was represented by three Association Board members – Andrii Halai, Yuliia Lomzhets, Mariia Tsypiashchuk and USAID “New Justice” Program legal counselor Ashot Agaiian, was reporting during July 3-5, 2019 at Comenius University, Bratislava, Slovakia. Legal clinicians and people related to the quality of professional legal education from over 20 countries got together to discuss this conference topic: “Improving the Future: using Clinical Legal Education to educate Lawyers for a Just Society”.

Workshops, lectures, separate and joint panel discussions, case study, and even meditation sessions for developing mindfulness – all this was a part of Conference agenda.

So, first day started with optional workshops on analyzing the draft version of the European Best Practices Standards, as well as parallel presentations related to different aspects of the future lawyers’ education. As mentioned above, Ukrainian experience was recalled many times as an example of effective standardization process. Actually, the Instrument for Assessing the Operations of Legal Clinics and its practical implementations were presented at the panel discussion “Innovative Tools for Legal Clinical Education’s Quality Assessment” during the second Conference day.

Presentations can be downloaded by the links:

Statistics of Legal Clinics in Ukraine

Conference presentation on the Assessment Tool

Many more presentations were available and Ukrainian participants attended most of them. “It was exceptionally interesting to learn about the development of the activities of legal clinics in different countries: legal education in Ireland, training course in Hungary, introduction of standards of activity in Australia” – says Yuliia Lomzhets, the ALCU Executive Director.

Participants had plethora of time to interchange valuable ideas and think over the future joint projects. Head of the Association Board Andrii Halai is convinced: “We are now actively working on promoting international cooperation between Ukrainian legal clinical society and legal clinics from other countries, as well as the ENCLE itself. Due to efforts of the past few years we have a good potential to be quite interesting for the foreign partners”. It was especially pleasant to see colleagues from Poland who participated in a First Cross-Border School of Professional Skills for Legal Clinics Academics, which took place at the University of Warsaw during June 17 to 19.

As academic freedom and educational mobility are growing extensively – questions of uniformity and similar interpreting of basic terms, as well as the goals of legal clinic and its most effective format of operation are becoming even more topical. This process also predeterminates the tendencies of clinical legal education:

  • acknowledgment of the fact that legal clinics must be an integral part of legal professional education;
  • legal clinics tend to work with a real client. At the same time – there are still LCs of different types (litigation, mediation, Street Law clinics) and the LCs who only practice case study and simulation – so these various legal clinics demand various Standards and regulations, as well as ethical rules of operation;
  • there has to be a clear balance of understanding and following the educational goal of legal clinic what leads to the dilemma of obligations for a client v. obligation for a student.

In overall, the whole Conference was a great thing as its organizing Committee put a lot of efforts to make the event satisfying and meaningful. A special charm of ancient but so welcoming Bratislava, amusing atmosphere during the Conference dinner and such a number of like-minded people left a long-term feeling of true involvement and inspiration.

We do hope this inspiration will move us forward and strengthen the role of legal clinics in Ukraine and worldwide.

Participation of Ukrainian delegation in the 7th ENCLE & IJCLE Conference became possible due to the support of the USAID “New Justice” Program, as well as the development of the Instrument for Assessing the Operations of Legal Clinics. Association of Legal Clinics of Ukraine also expresses a special gratitude to American professor Ms. Leah Wortham who contributed a great expertise and help for drafting the Instrument.


*Main photo is taken from the official ENCLE website

First Cross-Border School of Professional Skills for Legal Clinical Leaders: How was it

First Cross-Border School of Professional Skills for Legal Clinical Leaders: How was it

The idea to do something qualitatively new, in cooperation with foreign colleagues-friends, and with a reference point for the development of regional initiatives, has arisen for quite some time. However, it was rather difficult to pick up a format that would be both informative, practical, and on the other hand – not too overloaded.

In the end, after lengthy discussions, planning, adaptation and negotiation, 10 participants from the Ukrainian legal clinical community during June 17-19, 2019 took an international internship at the University of Warsaw. They also became acquainted with legal clinics of the University of Lazarus and University of Social Sciences and Humanities, located in Warsaw.

Workshops, presentations of own ideas-projects, participants who were coaches at the same time, development of ideas for further international cooperation – it’s only part of the School’s program. But now everything step by step.

How did the idea come and why is it regional development?

“For the Association, today’s most demanding challenge is the development of an efficient self-governing network of legal clinics capable of independently generating and implementing powerful intentions. Getting the “injection” of knowledge and skills in strategy and project management of legal clinics, direct mentoring in the formation and implementation of joint initiatives – this was the main idea of ​​the School “, – says Andrii Halai, Head of the Association and founder of the idea of ​​the School.

When an approximate understanding of the format was formed, negotiations with the partners, which subsequently supported the initiative, immediately began. As the continuation of last year’s Summer School of Legal Clinics of Ukraine, co-organizers of the School were Ternopil National Economic University and Y.Fedkovich Chernivtsi National University. On the Polish side Warsaw University and the Polish Foundation of Legal Clinics, with which the Association members have been cooperating for many years joined the project. Poland was chosen not by chance – it has one of the most advanced world-wide networks of the legal clinical movement. “Involving network representatives and the combined format of the School has allowed the effect of “all in one”, and one event allowed achieving several effects. This and in such a way we have not yet been taught “, – adds Andrii Halai.

The School gathered the leaders and leaders of six Ukrainian legal clinics from Bila Tserkva National Agrarian University, the University of the State Tax Service of Ukraine, the Admiral Makarov National University of Shipbuilding, the National University of Ostroh Academy, Kryvyi Rih Economic Institute of Kyiv National Economic University, Lviv State University of Internal Affairs and, of course, Ternopil and Chernivtsi partner universities.

Before the training launched, all participants received task to develop a concept of regional projects with the mandatory involvement of at least two other legal clinics and partners from the public and NGO sectors. With the help of experienced Association mentors, the concepts were refined to project ideas ranging from providing legal assistance to small businesses – to financial and tax literacy, the development of regional partnerships of legal clinics, and the creation of remote advisory posts in the remote areas. Every participant presented these ideas on the second day of the School during a panel discussion, which was also attended by Polish colleagues from Krakiw (Pawel Klimek), Lodz (Dr. Przemysław Kubiak) and Lublin (Professor Delaine Swenson). The meaningful discussion gave not only clearer guidelines for finalizing plans but also defined rather concrete ideas for cooperation at the international level as well.

Moreover, on the first day of the School, Ms. Katarzyna Furman, who represented the Warsaw University and actively participated in organizing the whole event, presented the activities of the European Network of Legal Clinics (ENCLE), as she is its Board of Directors member. This network also holds regular events that promote the development of international partnerships and the legal clinical movement in general.

After the presentation, the training part of the School began. It covered the issues of topical management for the head of the legal clinic and effective interaction with other partners. Coaches worked in the joint Polish-Ukrainian teams.

During the third day participants attended two progressive Polish legal clinics and found out about those clinics’ organization, whether and how they are included into curriculum, what cases are taken by the clinic and how they are processed.

No doubt, participants found time for fun and adventures!

So, are we tenth?!

So, are we tenth?!

April for a team of the Legal Clinic of the UCU School of Law began very unusual. Why? Because Iryna Kanya and Yurii Schvab in the capital of Ireland, Dublin, after winning the Client Consultation Competition in Ukraine, represented Ukraine in the Brown-Mosten International Client Consultation Competition 2019 (ICCC 2019).

As was noted by the manager of the Legal Clinic of the UCU School of Law, Khrystyna Kovtsun, the competition are somewhat unique and not similar, for example, to such popular among law students of moot-courts. The essence of the competition is to establish communication with a client who came to a meeting with lawyers with a certain legal problem. At the same time, the client can be very emotional and drag on the initiative during communication or silent, closed and deliberately hide something. In spite of all this, students need to get all the necessary information about the client’s business, all the important details, to reveal not only legal but also social and moral-ethical problems, and immediately offer the client (actor) several options to get out of the situation. These skills are evaluated by judges of the ICCC. Interestingly, the panel of judges at international competition consists of a practicing lawyer, a lawyer-scientist and a practicing psychologist. Competitors analyze the problem on the basis of the legislation of the country they represent. That is, in our case, Iryna and Yurii consulted an American who is temporarily in Ukraine and faced a legal problem. Representatives from 21 countries took part in the competition this year, including: USA, Great Britain, Switzerland, Canada, Brazil, Scotland, Turkey, Croatia, Germany, New Zealand, India, Malaysia, Scotland, Australia, Kenya, the Netherlands and others. That is, the judges heard a legal analysis based on the legislation of so many countries!

“As a team coach, I was present only in the rounds of our students, except the final – says Kkrystyna. – I can definitely say that Ukraine was really well represented on international competition. An indication of this is that our team ranked 10th by rating, dividing it with a team from Switzerland. I am very proud of the success of Iryna and Yurii, even though they struggled with native speakers. During the preparation for the competition, Yurii and Iryna have grown incredibly, compared to national competition. Brilliant legal analysis in the third round, structuring of information, correct statement of questions, obtaining almost all necessary information from the client, proper time management, and most importantly, coordinated team work is just a small list of skills developed and shown by Iryna and Yurii. I would like to thank Iryna and Yurii for the smooth work, taking into account all the tips and remarks, proper training, ingenuity and creative approach. It should also be added that the judges in each round noted the positive points and the high level of counseling by Yurii and Iryna, also gave proper remarks. For myself, I remembered the formulation of one of the judges about the great potential of the team. The level of organization of the Law Society of Irland and the professional level of judges worth a separate article. The presence of Mr. Forest Mosten, a well-known American mediator, lawyer in the field of family law, a law professor and known as “peacemaker who never goes to court,” shows the level of evaluation.

What about the important remarks for the future: we saw in the final as the winning team from the United States (in fact last year the team from the USA also won) consults. There is something very natural-simple in establishing communication, conquering customer confidence from the first word, establishing contact even from the first sight, and, moreover, some kind of self-confidence, full readiness to take the whole situation under its control. These moments, in my opinion, brought a victory to the team from the United States. That is, communication and the ability to present themselves to the client – something I will work on in particular when preparing for the next competition with a team of students. A huge thank you for the financial support of the participants of the competitions of the LU “LF” Grinchuk & Partners “and the LU “LF” Asters”. I also especially thank UCU and the UCU School of Law, indeed, for the whole team for the help, support and advice without which this trip would not have happened. ”

Impressions of the participants of the competition:

Iryna Kanya: “I have very bright impressions after the international rounds of competition. To be honest, I like them more than national rounds in several times. Firstly, the topic of the competition – from corruption crimes to thefts – changed, which was close to me, so I was very fond of the given works. Secondly, the customers at the competitions were professional actors. And it was a real pleasure to advise them. The actors so well passed all the emotions, that at some moments I forgot that this is not a real case, and we are only in the competition. It seemed that from us and the quality of the given consultation really depends on their future. Thirdly, after each speech, we received a very high-quality feedback from the judges, teachers, practitioners lawyers and psychologists were among them, and we will certainly be able to use it in our further professional activities and life in general. The only thing I regret is that I got to know about these competitions too late and I will not be able to participate in them next year. In general, I would recommend to all law students to pay attention to these competitions, because this is really a very useful and cool experience. I did not expect that these competitions will bring not only excitement, but also pleasure from participation. Finally, I would like to thank my teammate Yurii Schvab, without which I would never have been involved in these international rounds, the manager of the Legal Clinic Khrystyna Kovtsun for her patience and coaching, as well as the manager of the Master’s Program Svitlana Khyliuk and Professor Mr. Viacheslav Navrotskyi for significant assistance in preparation. And special thanks to the UCU School of Law for the support provided without which we would not have received this wonderful experience. ”

Yurii Schvab: “The first impressions were weird. A bunch of people from all over the world, different cultures, religions, preferences, manners. I felt what is multiculturalism for the first time. On the first day, they decided to use team secret tactics, but did not work out, as other teams constantly tried to get acquainted. So the first day of the competition has passed. Dating, opening, drawing, communication. On the second day the namely the competition began. We had some preparations and an action plan for each situation (the situation was given to the teams two weeks before the competition). That is, approximately we knew what would be the problem and what to expect from it. The only thing we could not predict is a client type. We did not know if it would be silent or emotional, or closed, whether it would panic or shout. Therefore, it was necessary to act in a situation. I liked the first round, it was about theft in the store. In the process of counseling, we found that the client was a kleptomaniac and foreign, although he was rather closed and did not say much. The second situation was pretty funny. As the judges told us after the round, the client was strong and talkative, so he led the process of counseling. In fact, we were surprised not by the type of client, but by the situation. She referred to Monet paintings that were once stolen. And here we did not know what advice to give. The third situation was perfect. Client (or rather the actress) played her role brilliantly (tears, emotions, pain). We also offered some good solutions to the problem. Everyone liked this round. But unfortunately, in the evening we were told that we did not go further. One thing is certain: the experience we have gained is huge and ready to share it with the next UCU team. Acknowledgments: Mrs. Svitlana Khyliuk, Mr. Viacheslav Navrotskyi – for very helpful advice in the field of criminal law. Mrs. Maria Tsypiashchuk and Mr. Delaine Swenson – for practical advice on how to better advise and organize the entire process. Mr. Ivan Gorodysky – for the support and assistance”.

Publication was prepared by Khrystyna Kovtsun